Today in Islamophobia

A daily list of headlines about Islamophobia
compiled by the Bridge Initiative

Each day, the Bridge Initiative aims to bring you the news you need to know about Islamophobia. This resource will be updated every weekday at approximately 11:00 AM EST.

Today in Islamophobia Newsletter

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17 Mar 2021

Today in Islamophobia: UN teamvisits Bhasan Char, the remote Bangladesh island where almost 13,000 Rohingya refugees have been relocated. Sri Lanka says it ‘requires time’ to consider proposed burqa ban. Our recommended read today is by Faisal Hanif on the UK’s media landscape, and how it is plagued by anti-Muslim bigotry. This, and more, below:

United Kingdom

17 Mar 2021

'An industry in denial': How the UK media promotes Islamophobia | Recommended Read

For Muslims, the UK media’s bigotry goes beyond the sneering, name-calling and hypocrisy in its coverage, and the misrepresentation of their beliefs. In perpetuating tropes and fabricating stories that are the envy of the far right, it has made conditions harder for them as citizens. If cancel culture exists, then the British media are its most active purveyors and Muslims its most egregious victims - facing everything from being forced to apologise for terrorist attacks, to being linked to crimes they know nothing about. read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
17 Mar 2021

School drops legal action after Muslim girl told her skirt was too long

The school had threatened the family with legal action over their daughter’s alleged unauthorised absences. But Siham’s parents had always maintained that shorter skirts contravened the family’s religious beliefs. Three months after first issuing the family with the legal threat, the school has now reversed its decision. Describing it as a difficult period, Siham’s father, Idris Hamud, 55, said the family were relieved. In a statement released by the family lawyers, Mishcon de Reya, Hamud said he was pleased that the school had listened to the family’s concerns and concluded that they were justified in raising the issue. read the complete article

17 Mar 2021

Julie Burchill agrees to pay Ash Sarkar 'substantial damages' in libel case

The retraction comes after Burchill published a series of social media posts to and about Sarkar in response to the Novara Media senior editor’s criticism of Rod Liddle in December for an article from 2012 in which he wrote that if he was a teacher he “could not remotely conceive of not trying to shag the kids”. After Sarkar, who is Muslim, noted the Spectator piece last year, Burchill responded by accusing her of “worshipping a paedophile”, a reference to the prophet Muhammad. read the complete article


17 Mar 2021

UN team visits remote Bangladesh island where Rohingya relocated

A United Nations delegation is on a three-day visit starting Wednesday to a remote Bay of Bengal island where Bangladesh has moved more than 13,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees since December despite criticism from rights groups. Bangladesh wants to eventually transfer 100,000 of the more than a million refugees living in overcrowded border camps to Bhasan Char island, which emerged from the sea only two decades ago and is considered vulnerable to floods. read the complete article


17 Mar 2021

China: Xinjiang camps take similar approach to US, UK, France

China’s Ambassador to the EU Zhang Ming said on Tuesday that his country's “deradicalization centers” for Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang are “not entirely different” from those found in Britain, France and the U.S. Insisting that the centers were effective in fighting terrorism, Zhang said: “Countries like the U.S., the U.K. and France have established deradicalization centers or correction centers. China’s measures are not entirely different from theirs.” read the complete article

17 Mar 2021

In India, US Defense Secretary Austin Must Not Overlook Its Democratic Decline

The Indian government’s growing authoritarianism is a major test for the new U.S. administration. During his campaign, President Joe Biden pledged to “revitalize our national commitment to advancing human rights and democracy around the world.” He also criticized the Indian government’s crackdown on human rights in its only Muslim-majority territory, Jammu and Kashmir, and has called other discriminatory policies inconsistent with India’s tradition of secular governance and democracy. In his first call with Modi after taking office, Biden conveyed that “a shared commitment to democratic values” forms the bedrock of the bilateral relationship. read the complete article

17 Mar 2021

Damage Control: The Unbearable Whiteness of Drone Work

In December 2020, the University of New South Wales and the Media Futures Lab hosted a three-day event titled “Drone Cultures: An Interdisciplinary Symposium.” Shortly thereafter, Simon Fraser University and the University of Auckland jointly held a similar event titled “Australian War Crimes in Afghanistan: Race, Gender and Responsibility.” Both events illustrate the problematic way research on Afghanistan has often been conducted as well as the problematic depictions of Afghans that ensue as a result. Afghans are either perpetrators, and thus killable, or damaged, and thus save-able, though rarely engaged as intellectual interlocutors. While we direct attention to these two virtual events, we regard the events as paradigmatic of a distressing pattern that persists with regards to military drone scholarship, and more broadly, on Afghanistan. Relatedly, while we center Afghans, and offer intellectual labor with Afghans, we also use Afghans as representational of a subaltern humanity—the surveilled, droned, and documented—that includes Somalis, Yemenis, Iraqis, Pashtuns, Afghans, Libyans, and Syrians. read the complete article


17 Mar 2021

Asio boss says spy agency will dump terms 'rightwing extremism' and 'Islamic extremism'

Mike Burgess, the director general of security, announced the changes as he revealed the average age of “ideological extremists” investigated by Asio was 25 and they were overwhelmingly male. He said a terrorist attack by such individuals in Australia “remains plausible”. The new umbrella categories to be used by Asio from Wednesday will be “ideologically motivated violent extremism” and “religiously motivated violent extremism”. The shift follows repeated warnings by security agencies that the extreme rightwing threat in Australia is on the rise. Burgess used a similar speech in February 2020 to warn that the extreme rightwing threat in Australia was “real” and “growing”, with small cells regularly meeting “to salute Nazi flags, inspect weapons, train in combat and share their hateful ideology”. read the complete article

Sri Lanka

17 Mar 2021

Sri Lanka says it ‘requires time’ to consider proposed burqa ban

Sri Lanka’s government says it would take time to consider a proposed ban on the wearing of burqas, which a top security official called a sign of “religious extremism”. Sri Lanka’s minister of public security, Sarath Weerasekara, last week said he was seeking cabinet approval to ban burqas – a garment worn by some Muslim women covering the body and face – a move he said would have a direct impact on national security. read the complete article


17 Mar 2021

Swiss ban on face coverings reveals a racist and paranoid right-wing

Walter Wobmann, the chairman of the referendum committee and a member of parliament for the Swiss People's Party, stated that, "in Switzerland, our tradition is that you show your face. That is a sign of our basic freedoms". He highlights in passing that there is a distinction between the liberties of those he considers to make up the country and traditions that should be defended, and Muslims, who clearly don't. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 17 Mar 2021 Edition


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